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Oregon Chronic Pain Treatments Under Review

The Oregon Health Authority announced Friday a third-party review is underway to consider expanding Medicaid coverage for certain chronic pain conditions.

The conditions include pain from trauma, chronic pain syndrome and fibromyalgia. The proposal under consideration by the Health Evidence Review Commission would expand access to prescription opioids for some of these ailments.

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Dr. Dana Hargunani is Chief Medical Officer at OHA.

“And if there is strong evidence for effectiveness of treatments in those conditions, have a big impact on the populations,” says Dr. Hargunani, “they get prioritized high on the list and ultimately the Legislature then funds those conditions.”

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Dr. Hargunani says funding under the Oregon Health Plan could cover pain treatments like massage, acupuncture and pharmaceuticals including opiates. If approved by the Commission, the proposal would go into effect in 2020.

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Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.